Measuring the Age of Trees You can estimate the age of a tree without cutting it down and counting the growth rings. Most trees in this area of the country add about one inch to their circumference (around the tree) every year. If you divide the total circumference by one inch, you will have the tree's age. Not all trees can be dated with this method. Some trees grow taller faster than increasing in circumference such as firs, eucalyptuses, and North American redwoods. Some trees grow taller slower such as limes, horse chestnuts, and yews. Palm trees grow taller without increasing in circumference. With a measuring tape, measure from the ground up to five feet. Mark the five-foot line on the tree with sidewalk chalk. This will be the standard height for measurement on all the trees you measure. Measure the circumference around the tree at the 5-ft. line. Divide this number by 1 inch to get the age of the tree (so a tree with a 16 inch circumference is 16 years old). If you prefer to use metric measurements, measure the height on the tree up to 1.5 meters, and divide the circumference of the tree at this height by 2.5 cm to get the age (so a tree with a 45 cm circumference is 18 years old). How old are the trees in your yard? www.sciencebug.org Measuring the Age of Trees Type of tree:_______________________________________________ Circumference:_____________ Calculation: _______________________ Age:_____________________ Type of tree:______________________________________________ Circumference:_____________ Calculation: _______________________ Age:_____________________ Type of tree:_______________________________________________ Circumference:_____________ Calculation: _______________________ Age:_____________________ Type of tree:______________________________________________ Circumference:_____________ Calculation: _______________________ Age:_____________________ Type of tree:_______________________________________________ Circumference:_____________ Calculation: _______________________ Age:_____________________ Type of tree:______________________________________________ Circumference:_____________ Calculation: _______________________ Age:_____________________ Type of tree:_______________________________________________ Circumference:_____________ Calculation: _______________________ Age:_____________________ www.sciencebug.org Measuring the Age of Trees Is the tallest tree in your yard the oldest?_________________________ What type of tree is the oldest in your yard?_______________________ What type of tree is the youngest in your yard?_____________________ If you have any trees in your yard that are the same age, list them below. Type of Tree Age of Tree __________ _________ __________ _________ __________ _________ __________ _________ __________ _________ __________ _________ Do the trees that are the same age look similar? Are they the same height? Are they the same type of tree? _______________________________ ________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________ Do the leaves or needles of older trees of the same type look different from the leaves or needles of younger trees?______________________ _________________________________________________________ Does the bark of older trees look different from the bark of younger trees? _________________________________________________________ Are any trees in your yard the same age as you? _____________________ What type of tree is your age?__________________________________ Is this tree taller than you, or are you taller? _______________________ www.sciencebug.org

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